Hi Armorsmithers and Cosplay Community. We are so excited to kick off our first interview with Cosplay enthusiast Dave Barnes aka Nerdcore Creation. If you haven't seen his work, check it out here you will not be disappointed!
Dave has been an Armorsmith user since almost day 1, and has truly helped shape this software into what it is now, and i'm sure will help shape it into what it will become in the future. We hope his work and stories will inspire you as much as he has inspired us! Hi Dave, we are so happy you agreed to sit down with us for this interview. Please tell us a bit about your passion for Cosplay, and how you got your start in it. For my son's 13th birthday he wanted to go to Oz Comic-Con so I asked him if we should dress up, we'd not been to a con before (well I had but it was the 80s and cons are very, very different now), anyway I asked him what we should dress up as and he said 'Boba Fett' and I was a bit worried if i could manage it, so i started researching cosplay, found the Dented Helmet which was a forum for Boba Fett cosplayers and learnt as much as I could. I couldn't afford to buy any of the parts so I scratch built everything. I learnt a lot making Boba, I'd never done soldering before, or casting, or used sintra, or fibreglass or even done basic electronics. At that first con Oz Comic-Con 2016 we sat and watched cosplay panels and things like that which we enjoyed and we also watched the cosplay competition. The competition was just full of amazing cosplays, a Fantastic 4 Thing, a Lord of the Rings elf and a whole group of just amazing cosplays that were just fantastic. The winner that day was Henchwench her WoW Orc cosplay was just so inspiring to me. As we were driving home i was already coming up with how i was going to build Reinhardt, seven months later I won SupaNova 2017 with my Rein then just kept adding to him, working mechanical hands, working thruster vortex for his rocket and a 4 way opening shield mechanism. I keep doing it while I'm learning, I normally don't go back and do things i already know how to do, for example Reinhardt was mostly EVA foam so now that I know how to work with EVA foam I don't feel as much of an inclination to work with it again, I have and I will, but my next build will only have foam as padding. As long as I'm learning I'll keep making. I absolutely love your Reinhardt build. Can you talk us through a bit of how you approach taking on a build of this magnitude? If I look back now it looks like I had a plan but it was a hell of a lot of trial and error. I think I read every single large build thread on RPF, it didn't really matter what the build was I read them all and figured I had a grasp on the concepts. In particular are these great reads, just like everyone in cosplay, I owe a lot to the people who have come before me and solved problems and discovered materials and methods. So research was first, then I thought a lot about the interior structure and how it would all sit on my body and this was the key for my build in particular in that there are lots of methods of getting a suit of armour or leg part, or helmet, or breastplate to fit but how do you take pepakura and make it look right when it's that big? That's when I saw a thread about Armorsmith on the RPF and thought I'd give it a go. I then scaled everything to fit based on a measurement from groin to head, I knew I couldn't make it exactly scaled to the in game model because his head is abnormally small, so because of this I went with the Uprising skin because he had no helmet. I scaled the chest piece so it looked right and was as large as I could make it based on my measurements, then eyeballed the rest based on that first measurement as it. Here's my thread on theRPF . I explain it all in greater detail there. As it turns out, when i measured years later, it was 95% scale so not 1:1. But, because it was based on my height, (not the in game model) it meant the ankle joints are where my ankles are. The knee joints are where my knees are etc... so this is, in my opinion, why it seems to move more naturally than the 1:1 scale Reins (which are also awesome by the way, anyone who builds a Reinhardt and finishes it is a dedicated human being as it's a big job and it's not easy). https://www.instagram.com/p/B1K9DxljUDd/?igshid=ha2bcbaisdvx https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw77kpzD8N-/?igshid=1icipx8lvn8ui Has playing Reinhardt to the extent that you played him taught you anything about yourself? Well I guess it showed me that you're never too old to have a go :) and being a giant robot/mech/transformer/droid/warhammer/knight/dude guy (as kids called him at cons) is great fun. Overall it's been a good thing for me, i'm normally pretty anti-social and don't like other humans, but when i suit up for cosplay i'm someone else for the day and I have a good time. Let's face it when you stand over someone in a crowd and move passed them and they realise how massive the thing is that's next to them it's a great look on their face almost as good as when you come round a corner and a small kid sees you and his face lights up, he has no idea if you're Optimus Prime or a robot or whatever... but he knows what awesome looks like :) https://www.instagram.com/p/By4FpYmjQs_/?igshid=1uyi99btrz5go How has Armorsmith impacted your workflow? LOL It 'is' my workflow :) of course i'd say that, this an Armorsmith interview but it's true, I owe Randy everything for the Rein build and for my builds that followed. I would not have started Rein without Armorsmith because it would have been to overwhelming, It's really that simple for me. I'd been looking and wishing for something like Armorsmith but nothing was available and Pepakura designer wasn't cutting it for me.Even now I may model and design my parts in Fusion360, Blender and ZBrush but I scale them to fit me in Armorsmith, even my 3d files for 3d printed parts are scaled in Armorsmith. My workflow is design, scaling, structure, build, paint, wear, recover :) so AS is a large part of the entire build iterations, I go back to it multiple times whilst building and often have it open while i'm joining parts to make sure i'm doing it right. Take the Little Orange Robot I built, https://www.instagram.com/p/BzAebRfFCNB/?igshid=zoz74ykndwc7 i took a 3d design meant for 3d printing off of thingiverse, separate it into individual parts in Blender, took the parts into Armorsmith, scaled them, stretched the limbs a bit to scale them to the head which was just massive, unfolded it, and then the best part was I saved it as a .PDF so i could take it to the printers, all up 184 A4 pages https://www.therpf.com/forums/threads/orange-robot-from-love-death-robots.301796/ Is there any advice you have for new cosplayers, or people looking to get into cosplaying? Start with something small, a helmet, a weapon, a shield, gun, something manageable so you can finish it and learn and have something to show at the end without committing to something huge and overwhelming which might lead to you not finishing your build at all. I think i got a bit lucky/unlucky in that I accidentally had Boba Fett as my first build without realising how hard he'd be to make with so many different parts, so I learnt so much making him that I knew I had the physical skills to build the Reinhardt I just needed some help with the knowhow and that's where Armorsmith came in for me. I think it's the single most powerful and important digital tool in my arsenal. What can we expect next from you? Well, I like learning new skills so I built a foundry to make aluminium cast parts https://www.instagram.com/p/Bun3dCuDx2z/?igshid=1ofjoq1cdlyrz so my goal would be to build the ABC Warriors, I'm starting with Joe Pineapples. https://www.simonbisleyart.com/tag/joe-pineapples/ To start I'm building him in Sintra/Palight/aerated PVC and resin then I'll use conductive paint to Nickel coat him and polish him up BUT eventually i want to cast him entirely in aluminium ... it may prove a bridge too far but it's good to set goals I guess ;) End of Interview Thanks so much Dave for taking the time to talk with us! Is there anything we didn't ask Dave that you would like to know? Please let us know in the comments. This Interview made possible by our amazing Armorsmith Patreons.